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May 3, 1999

CLA-2-56:RR:NC:TA:350 C84931


TARIFF NO.: 5603.94.3000

Mr. Richard Wortman
Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz & Silverman LLP 707 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 4900
Los Angeles, CA 90017

RE: The tariff classification of multi layers of partial laminated sheets of Nomex® aramid “paper” for making honeycomb blocks, from Luxembourg.

Dear Mr. Wortman:

In your letter dated February 24, 1998, on behalf of Euro-Composites Corporation (“Euro-Composites”), you requested a tariff classification ruling on sheets or blocks of laminated Nomex® “paper”, which is the precursor of aramid fiber honeycomb. A sample of the sheets laminated together, which represents the merchandise to be imported, was submitted. This request parallels a similar request made directly to us by Euro-Composites. We apologize for the delay in responding to your inquiry.

It has been established for sometime (HQ letter 076861 Oct. 31, 1986) that the referred to Nomex is a nonwoven material of staple length fibers made in a wet lay process. It is textile in nature. Rolls of American produced nonwoven aramid (a type of nylon man-made fiber) are shipped to Luxembourg where they are cut to a desired length and printed or coated across the width with thin lines of an epoxy adhesive resin. The resin serves as a node bond adhesive for spot lamination. Multi layers of these sheets are stacked to the required thickness and spot laminated by compression and temperature in a press.

This sheet or block, after importation, will be expanded to make the honeycomb structure block. It will be impregnated with a phenolic resin and stabilized in a curing oven. The stabilized honeycomb material becomes the light weight core material for sandwich structures used in the aircraft industry.

This laminated “stack” of the nonwoven aramid fiber sheets is not a composite good, but a GRI 1 product under heading 5603, which provides for nonwovens whether or not impregnated, coated, covered or laminated, GRI 3 (c) is not at issue. Further, since the nonwoven is made with other than filament fibers 5902.12 is not a consideration.

You suggest the product may be imported free of duty under HTS subheading 9907.56.01, which provides for “Nonwoven fiber sheets (provided for in heading 5603).” This provision covers a very product specific commodity, which is spelled out in U.S. Note 2., Subchapter VII to Section XXII, covering the 9907.56 subheading. The subject Nomex nonwoven is made from aramid fibers, a form of nylon, the 9907 provision pertains only to nonwovens of polyester fibers. This negates any further consideration of 9907.

The imported laminated sheets or blocks, from informal testing, would weigh more than 150 g/m².

The applicable subheading for the material will be 5603.94.3000, Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which provides for nonwovens, whether or not impregnated, coated, covered or laminated, of other than filaments, weighing more than 150 g/m², ... laminated fabrics. The rate of duty will be Free.

This ruling is being issued under the provisions of Part 177 of the Customs Regulations (19 C.F.R. 177).

A copy of the ruling or the control number indicated above should be provided with the entry documents filed at the time this merchandise is imported. If you have any questions regarding the ruling, contact National Import Specialist George Barth at 212-637-7085.


Robert B. Swierupski

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